WASHINGTON – The nation’s leading infection diseases doctor said Tuesday it could be several weeks before the U.S. knows whether its efforts to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus is working as the Trump administration announced efforts to financially help Americans and boost the economy during the pandemic.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said because the number of people confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 will continue to climb as more testing is done, health officials may not know whether the curve is flattening for weeks.
“It probably would be several weeks or maybe longer before we know whether we had an effect,” he said at a Tuesday press briefing. “And maybe, at the end of the day, we’ll see a curve that would’ve been way, way up. But I wouldn’t put us to task every few days. ‘Well wait a minute, it’s going up, is it working or not?’ That would be really misleading if we do that.”
Fauci said it’s possible the peak could be seen in 45 days.
Also Tuesday, the Trump administration said it is working with Congress on a plan to send tax money within the next two weeks to American families to help ease their financial concerns and lessen the impact on the economy.
“We’re looking at sending checks to Americans immediately,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
President Donald Trump said the checks could be for $1,000.
“I think we’re going to do something that gets money to them as quickly as possible,” Trump said. “That may not be an accurate way of doing it because obviously some people shouldn’t be getting checks for $1,000. But we’ll have a pretty good idea by the end of the day what we’re going to be doing.”’
At least 100 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S as of Tuesday.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, coughing and trouble breathing.
Most people who have it develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually the elderly and those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.
Dan McCaleb is the executive editor of The Center Square. He welcomes your comments. Contact Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org.Reach